a small tourmaline elbaite wand 2.5 cm long
Elbaite is the most well-known and valuable form of Tourmaline. Most of the multicolored Tourmalines and almost all of the Tourmaline gemstones are of the Elbaite variety. Elbaite is perhaps the most multicolored mineral, coming in virtually every color of the spectrum. Multicolored crystals of Elbaite are well known and unsurpassed in beauty.
Elbaite has many interesting optical properties. Many green and blue specimens are strongly pleochroic. When viewed through their vertical axis, such specimens appear darker in color than when seen through their horizontal axis. Certain Elbaites exhibit a cat’s eye effect when polished into cabochons.